ONE wonders whether Ken Stewart and Paul Miller, the Wimborne Town kingmakers, are betting men.

The pair have again taken a gamble with their choice of manager at Cuthbury by naming Alex Browne as Christer Warren’s successor.

Criticised for naming a rookie boss when they opted for Warren over the likes of more experienced candidates in Stuart Ritchie and Keith Williams, the club’s board are certain to come in for more flak if Browne proves to be anything other than a big success.

Director Miller was in defiant mood yesterday when I quizzed him about the two decisions and he rightly insists all young managers have to start somewhere – and step five isn’t a bad place to do it.

Despite not having been in sole managerial charge before, Browne, like Warren, boasts an impressive playing CV.

He was captain and a star player with both Weymouth and Dorchester Town at the very top of the non-league game and, with the latter club, he was also number two to Shaun Brooks, a role which will stand him in good stead for the challenge ahead.

Those wishing to knock the decision of Miller and Magpies chairman Stewart will point to the queue of tried and tested men who would surely have been keen to fill the vacancy – such as James Wood, Andy Leader and the other person interviewed, ex-Cherry Gary Borthwick.

All have good credentials and have done fine jobs with other clubs, but Browne got the nod, regardless of what some perceive to be a lack of experience.

The general consensus, however, is that the 35-year-old central defender will do a fine job.

Rival managers Tom Killick and Phil Simkin think that will be the case and, having spoken at length to the new manager, I’m of the same opinion.

He hasn’t managed a club before, but his exposure to non-league in Dorset means that he will come into the role with his eyes wide open to the task ahead of him.

And it is a big one.

Despite their embarrassment of riches, the Wimborne team have simply not hit the heights everybody is entitled to expect from a no doubt expensively-assembled and talented group of players.

Goalscoring doesn’t seem to be the problem – and it shouldn’t be with messrs Joyce, Town and Stokoe in the side. More worrying is the inability to grind out results when not at their best.

The failures against their main rivals have continued from last season, while poor results against so-called lesser teams have been alarmingly added to the Wimborne repertoire this term.

Thankfully for the club’s supporters, Browne has quickly identified where the problems lie, with organisation and communication needed.

Some steel on the big occasion should be added to his wishlist, as well as the ability to shut up shop, something the likes of Poole Town seem capable of but Wimborne don’t.

While there may already be too much for Browne to do to catch Poole and VT in the Wessex Premier Division title race, he does still have the opportunity of becoming a Wimborne legend by bringing the FA Vase to Cuthbury.

The 1992 glory of Alex Pike’s side is still talked about and a repeat trip to Wembley under Browne would soon quieten any dissenting voices, with today’s second round clash giving the new boss the perfect opportunity to make a winning start.

But Southern League status remains Wimborne’s primary objective and, other than the misfiring team on the pitch, every other facet of the club is all geared up to achieve it.

One hopes that Browne is the man to deliver this level of football to the success-starved Magpies fans because the club’s average attendances, their cracking little Cuthbury home and professional behind-the-scenes operation warrant more than Wessex League football.

Unfortunately for Browne, patience in pursuit of this goal will be in short supply, as his predecessor soon discovered.